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Cops to send car involved in Navy Nagar accident for RTO inspection for expert opinion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to build a water-tight case against the wife of a Lance Naik who was arrested on Sunday for mowing down two children while learning driving in the Navy Nagar area, the Cuffe Parade police will rely on a report from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) to rule out any glitch in the vehicle being cited as a defence at a later stage. The couple had bought the vehicle very recently, the police said.“Normally people do tend to claim in court that some fault had occurred in the vehicle, and hence the mishap took place. We would be sending the vehicle for RTO inspection. Their expert opinion would clarify whether the vehicle had some technical glitch or not,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone I, Manoj Kumar Sharma.The RTO inspection report would later be part of the charge-sheet that would be filed against the couple in the court, police said. “We would also be recording more statement of witnesses to bolster our case,” Sharma added.According to the police, Sangeeta Rai, wife of Lance Naik Santoshkumar was practicing driving, without a drivers license,with her husband seated beside her on Sunday afternoon.“Sangeeta could not spot two brothers, Akshansh, 13, and Abhay Dhyani, 7, and instead of applying brakes, she pressed the accelerator and went on to hit the cycle on which they were riding, killing them on the spot,” said another police officer.As per the police, after the mishap, the children were rushed to INS Ashwini Hospital in Navy Nagar. “The couple first informed the defence staff about the mishap and did not make any attempts to flee. They wanted to report the matter to the police themselves,” said the officer.Meanwhile, the bodies of the two children were handed over to their family for last rites. Their father Raviprasad Dhyani was inconsolable and had fainted after he saw the bodies of his children, and had to be admitted in a hospital.Chief Defence spokesperson, Commander Rahul Sinha, said, “It is very unfortunate that such an incident took place in the restricted area of the army. A court of inquiry has been ordered for the same. The incident could have been avoided. There are driving schools within the army, if they (couple) would have used it, the environment would have been much safer for all of them. It isn’t the first incident where a learner hits the accelerator instead of the brake. ”When asked if the army would take any action on the Lance Naik who was present in the car at the time of the accident, he added, “It depends on the authorities, whether they would take any action on it.”

Pak complicity in Indian soldier’s mutilation exposed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s complicity in the mutilation of Indian soldier’s body and killing of two others on the Line of Control (LoC) in Machhil sector last week, was exposed on Monday when Indian army recovered surgical gauze exclusively used by Pakistani defence forces and other items from the site of incident. “Refer Machhil operation of November 22 where body of one soldier was mutilated. Search leads to recoveries that indicate Pakistan complicity,” tweeted Northern Command of the Indian army.The cache includes Gauze Surgical– Loose Wove with a marking of Pakistan Defence Forces. Other recoveries include Made in Pakistan Sooper Biscuit packs and empty bottles. Indian army also recovered Night Vision Sight which is a US government property. Shock, anger and outrage gripped the security and political establishment after the suspected Border Action Team (BAT) of Pakistan badly mutilated the body of an Indian Army soldier and killed two others when they ambushed counter-infiltration patrol on the Line of Control (LoC) at Machhil sector of Kupwara district on Tuesday last.The slain soldiers were identified as Gunner Manoj Kumar Kushwa of Uttar Pradesh, Riffleman Prabhu Singh of Rajasthan and Riffleman Shashank K Singh of Uttar Pradesh, all belonging to 57 Rashtriya Riffles unit. It was for the second time in less than a month that the body of an Indian soldier was badly mutilated on the LoC in the Machhil sector. On October 28, militants badly mutilated the body of Rifleman Mandeep Singh of Sikh regiment. One militant was killed then while another fled back to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The BAT, on January 8, 2013, had breached the LoC in Mendhar sector and beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj and badly mutilated the body of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh of 13 Rajputana Rifles. Head of Lance Naik Hemraj is still missing.

Jammu and Kashmir: 3 soldiers killed, India warns Pakistan of heavy retribution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shock, anger and outrage gripped the security and political establishment after the suspected Border Action Team (BAT) of Pakistan badly mutilated the body of an Indian Army soldier and killed two others when they ambushed counter-infiltration patrol on the Line of Control (LoC) at Machhal sector of Kupwara district on Tuesday.Army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told DNA that three soldiers were killed in the action on the LoC in Machhal. “Body of one of the soldiers has been mutilated,” he said. “Retribution will be heavy for this cowardly act,” tweeted Northern Command of Indian Army.It is for the second time in less than a month that the body of an Indian soldier has been badly mutilated on the LoC in the Machhal sector. On October 28, militants badly mutilated the body of Rifleman Mandeep Singh of Sikh regiment. One militant was killed then while another fled back to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).The toll of jawans killed by Pakistan forces on the LoC and International Border (IB)—since the surgical strikes on the terror launch pads in POK on September 29—now stands at 18. Twelve civilians lost their lives and more than 50 others were injured in Pakistani firing and shelling during this period.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was briefed by Vice Chief of Army Lt Gen Bipin Rawat on the killings of soldiers – identified as Gunner Manoj Kumar of Uttar Pradesh, Riffleman Prabhu Singh of Rajasthan and Riffleman Shashank K Singh of Uttar Pradesh. All belong to 57 Rashtriya Riffles.Army has vowed to avenge the killings by Pakistani BAT, which is a mix of special forces and jihadis and are used as force-multipliers by Pakistan army.The incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon when the Indian Army’s counter infiltration team was on a routine patrol between the fence and the LoC near Kumkari area. “The attackers who were hiding in the area first ambushed the patrol killing three soldiers. Later they badly mutilated the body of one of the soldiers before fleeing back to POK,” said an officer.Condemning the killings, Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh demanded that Pakistan should be declared a terrorist state. “Pakistan is a doing the acts which are the trademark of terrorists. They should be declared as terrorist state. Post surgical strikes, Pakistan is facing isolation and they are desperate,” said Singh.The BAT, on January 8, 2013, had breached the LoC in Mendhar sector and beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj and badly mutilated the body of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh of 13 Rajputana Rifles. Head of Lance Naik Hemraj is still missing and the Army sources say Pakistani soldiers had taken it along after committing the heinous crime.Official figures reveal that Pakistan has carried out 367 violations along the LoC and International Border till November this year. Last year, around 405 incidents of cross-border firing have taken place along the Indo-Pak border in J&K that claimed 26 lives including 16 civilians, six Army men and four BSF men.

Pakistan’s mutilation of Indian jawan: Smoking peace pipe with barbarians never paid dividends

We can all pretend to be uppity about Pakistan’s repeated breach of the Geneva Convention but the point is, to expect a nation that uses terrorism as a state policy to uphold the sanctity of law is illusory and self-defeating. The mutilation of Manjeet Singh’s body is a grim reminder that unless India substantially raises the cost of Pakistan’s delinquent behaviour, the rogue republic will continue to unleash atrocities against us.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

There is a sad sense of déjà vu in India’s handling of Pakistan. It doesn’t matter if the government at the Centre is leftist, rightist or centrist. Each head of Indian state suffers from an illusory notion, aided by an army of entitled influencers with deep ties to the enemy state, that relationship with Pakistan can be and should be stabilized and the onus of doing it lies with us.

Therefore, every act of atrocity that the unstable, terror-sponsoring nation inflicts on us is followed by a predictable pattern. We outrage, foam at the mouth, try some maneuvers which have long exhausted their sell-by date and then eventually settle into a prolonged ennui followed by renewed attempts at restoring ties.

And we are doomed to repeat this fallacious cycle as long as we do not realize that Pakistan is not a modern Westphalian nation-state. It is the original Islamic State that seeks to spread Islamism as a politico-religious-cultural movement with the stated goal of establishing a Caliphate. This explains its lust for Kashmir and why it shall remain congenitally opposed to the pluralistic, multicultural, heterogeneous, secular idea of India and consider the fight against ‘Hindustan’ a holy war, or jihad.

And because the existence of Pakistan as an idea depends on continuing this perpetual jihad against India (a point author C Christine Fair elaborated in her seminal work Fighting To the Finish), any Indian overtures for peaceful relationship is bound to fail. If we as a nation do not understand it, the fault the lies with us, not history.

We only have to turn over the pages to recall that soon after Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bus-full of goodwill and Bollywood stardust to Lahore in 1999, he was answered with Kargil and a hijacked Air India flight. And few would forget the bestiality of Pakistan Army in treating our war heroes during Kargil. In gross violation of Geneva Convention, the barbarians subjected Captain Saurabh Kalia and his unit to horrendous torture.

As a News18 report recalls, Captain Kalia and his sepoys’ “ear drums were pierced with hot iron rods, eyes punctured and genitals cut off. The autopsy of the bodies also revealed that they were burned with cigarettes butts. Their limbs were also chopped off, teeth broken and skull fractured during the torture. Even their nose and lips were cut off.”

Pakistan still maintains that the bodies of these Indian soldiers were found in a pit where they ostensibly died due to “inclement weather”.

Treatment of PoWs or showing respect to the dead in war is accorded the highest importance under Geneva Convention. In an article on crimes of war, H Wayne Elliott writes: “The treatment of the battlefield dead can be divided into two aspects. First, there is a prohibition on deliberate mistreatment of the body, either through failure to treat it with appropriate respect or through mutilation. Second, there is a prohibition on pillaging the dead. These mandates concerning the dead are as much derived from the customary laws of war as from the Geneva Conventions.

To understand why Pakistan’s BAT (Border Action Team, an amalgam of its army and pet terrorists) killed and then apparently beheaded Manjeet Singh of 17 Sikh Light Infantry, we must recognise that the situation has to come to such a pass because for far too often the Pindi Khakis have been rewarded for their bad behaviour. If a criminal is paid handsomely for crimes what else can we expect except a recurring nightmare?

As The Times of India had reported back in January 2013, bodies of Lance-Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh of the 13 Rajputana Rifles were found in the Mendhar sector of Jammu & Kashmir in a badly mutilated state.

“Although the Indian Army did not give more details of the barbarism, sources said the retreating Pakistani soldiers had chopped off the head of one of the Indian soldiers and taken it back with them.”

This is why the surgical strikes on 29 September and its public acknowledgment by the Narendra Modi government were crucial. It broke the template and introduced an element of unpredictability in Indian response. The Army has already reiterated that Pakistan Army will get “an appropriate response” for their bestiality and callous disregard for all norms. But we must not stop there. The punishment from India should be brutal and swift because barbarians only understand the language of violence.

Siachen avalanche: Hospitalised soldier Bhawan Tamang succumbs to injuries

An army jawan was killed while another went missing when an avalanche hit a patrol party in Siachen’s Turtuk sector Ladhak region of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday morning.The avalanche hit the partol party around 8 AM at Turtuk area of Siachen – the highest battleground in the world – following which two jawans got buried under the snow, a Defence Spokesperson said.Immediately, rescue drills were launched and one of the soldiers, Lance Havildar Bhawan Tamang was rescued in a “critical” condition and shifted to a nearest medical facility.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Lance Havildar Bhawan Tamang, who was earlier rescued from an avalanche that hit an army patrol party this morning in Turtuk sector has succumbed to his injuries,” the Spokesperson said, adding the soldier could not be revived by the medical team.Tamang was a resident of Lopshu village in Darjeeling.Meanwhile, massive efforts are on to search and rescue the missing jawan despite an inclement weather in the area. Army Commander, Northern Command, Lt Gen D S Hooda has expressed his deep condolences to the family of Lance Havildar Bhawan Tamang.

Kargil avalanche: Search intensifies for missing soldier, rescued personnel stable

Following the avalanche which hit an Army Post located at an altitude of 17500 feet in Kargil Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, search operations on Sunday intensified for the missing soldier, while the rescued personnel’s condition is now stable.With the bad weather acting as a major impediment in the rescue operations, teams are still hard at work to locate the missing soldier who was swept away in the avalanche while on surveillance duty.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This incident comes weeks after a deadly avalanche on Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir, close to the Line of Control or LoC, killed 10 Army personnel including an officer.Following arduous rescue operations which lasted for two weeks, the bodies of nine soldiers were recovered. Lance Naik Hanamanthapa, who was found buried alive after being snowed under 25 feet of ice, passed away at the Army RR hospital in New Delhi, four days after his miraculous rescue.

Siachen braveheart Hanamanthappa’s wife urges youth to shun ‘anti-national’ activities

Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa’s wife, Mahadevi, on Thursday urged the youth to refrain from indulging in ‘anti-national’ activities.Speaking at an event in Nagpur, Mahadevi said that she was saddened to hear about the recent ‘anti-national’ activities taking place in the nation, adding that youth must be prepared to sacrifice life for the nation.”My husband wanted to join the army. He also got selected in police but he joined army. I heard that anti-national activities are taking place in the country, I am saddened by it. We are born in Bharata and Bharata mata has given us place to live, we are misusing it. I urge youths to not do it. We must be ready to give our lives for the nation,” she said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also said that she would her daughter to the army to serve the nation.”I do not have a son. I will send my daughter for nations service. I will send her to army,” she said.Lance Naik Hanamanthappa breathed his last on February 11 at Army’s Research and Referral Hospital. He had slipped into a deeper state of coma and was extremely critical with worsening multiple organ dysfunctions. He was found to be conscious but drowsy and disoriented when was evacuated to the army’s base camp at the Siachen Glacier. He was flown to Delhi from Siachen on Tuesday morning in a special air ambulance and admitted to the hospital.Lance Naik Hanumanthappa was miraculously found alive after remaining buried under huge mass of snow for six days at Siachen Glacier.

Jammu and Kashmir: Fresh firing between militants, security forces in Pampore

Fresh firing broke out between militants and security forces today as the operation against ultras holed up in a government building in Pampore area on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway entered the third day.Militants inside the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building, which is up in flames, engaged security forces in intermittent exchange of fire from 5.30 AM, a police official said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said there were no fresh casualties so far today in the operation as security forces have adopted a strategy of wearing down militants physically as well as in terms of ammunition reserves.Two CRPF jawans and a civilian were killed and nine other jawans injured when militants opened fire a on a CRPF convoy on Saturday afternoon.The ultras, whose exact number is not known yet, then took shelter inside the EDI building, triggering a stand off.Nearly 100 civilians — staff and students of EDI — were evacuated to safety by the security forces from the building.As the security forces mounted an assault on the building yesterday, they met with stiff resistance from the ultras who are holding vantage points inside the building.Two officers of the rank of captain and a Lance Naik from the elite Para force of the Army were killed while trying to flush out the militants.While Captain Pawan Kumar was killed in a pre-dawn exchange of fire, Captain Tushar Mahajan and Lance Naik Om Prakash sustained fatal injuries in the afternoon.

Siachen Heroes: Bodies of 9 soldiers likely to be brought back tomorrow

The bodies of nine Siachen bravehearts, who were buried alive in an avalanche that struck their post on the world’s highest battlefield, are likely to be brought to New Delhi on Monday, if weather permits.The weather at Khardung La remains extremely poor and all attempts to bring the mortal remains of the nine soldiers to Leh are being made, a senior Army official said. If weather permits, the bodies will be brought to the national capital not before Monday, he said. A wreath-laying ceremony is also expected to be held.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Plan to further move the mortal remains to Bangalore, Chennai, Trivandrum, Madurai, Pune, Hyderabad, is in place,” he said. The mortal remains of nine soldiers were transported from Siachen Glacier to Siachen Base Camp in helicopters on Saturday.A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and nine other soldiers of Madras Regiment were buried under the avalanche on February 3. While Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad was miraculously dug out alive, the bodies of nine others were recovered on February 9.One of those killed was Subedar Nagesha TT, a highly motivated and physically fit Junior Commissioned Officer. The JCO had served 12 years in tough field areas out of his 22 years of service. During his illustrious career, he had taken part in ‘Operation Parakaram’ where he laid and recovered large number of mines.He also participated in Operation Rakshak at Mendhar in Jammu and Kashmir for two years where he was actively involved in counter-insurgency operations. He volunteered to serve with Rashtriya Rifles in Jammu and Kashmir for two years. The JCO also volunteered to serve as a Commando in NSG for three years. Later, he went to North East from 2009 to 2012 to take part in ‘Operation Rhino’ where he was part of several successful operations against the militants as the ghatak platoon JCO.His colleagues remember him as ‘Rambo’ who used to lift others weapons as well as load in addition to his own. He was highly adventurous and also did a para-motor course with outstanding grading. He is survived by wife Asha and two sons Amit TN and Preetham TN aged six and four respectively.The others killed in the avalanche were Havildar Elumalai M of Dukkam Parai village, Vellore district, Tamil Nadu, Lance Havildar S Kumar of Kumanan Thozhu village, Theni district, Tamil Nadu, Lance Naik Sudheesh of Monroethuruth village, Kollam district, Kerala and Sepoy Mahesha PN of HD Kote village, Mysore district, Karnataka.Sepoy Ganesan of Chokkathevan Patti village, Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, Sepoy Rama Moorthy of Gudisatana Palli village, Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu, Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed of Parnapalle village, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh and Sepoy (Nursing Assistant) Suryawanshi S V of Maskarwadi village, Satara district, Maharashtra are the others.Read: Need to maintain presence in Siachen: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Also Read: After bravehearts lost their lives, Pakistan pitches for mutual demilitarisation of Siachen

Need to maintain presence in Siachen: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

Noting that casualties have tapered off the world’s highest battlefield over the years, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday ruled out dislodging troops from Siachen Glacier citing its strategic significance.”I think from the national security angle, holding our presence in Siachen is very important,” Parrikar said, in the wake of the death of 10 armymen in a massive avalanche hit a week ago.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Defence Minister said there has been a decline in the number of annual casualties at the glacier, where India and Pakistan have been holding a ceasefire for the past many years.”The number of deaths has tapered off to comparatively acceptable levels but we need to maintain our presence in the Siachen Glaciers,” Parrikar said.Acknowledging that “there are costs” of maintaining presence at the glacier, he said the number of casualties has come down to around 10-14 a year in the last decade. Of these deaths, 8-9 deaths on average are because of “accidents such as falling into a snowy ditches”, while only one or two deaths happen because of high altitude-sickness or cold, he said.”We need to maintain Siachen presence because Siachen is the height, if we vacate that, anyone who comes cannot be removed or dislodged from there,” Parrikar said, pointing out that China and Pakistan lay on either side of the glacier.On the figure of 874 soldiers’ deaths so far in Siachen, he said the number included those who died in fighting between Indian and Pakistani forces in 1984.Parrikar also said Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who died last morning due to multiple organ failure, was able to survive for six days under the snow because he was in a sleeping bag when the avalanche occurred.Gadgets such as drones cannot be used effectively in such terrains where the temperature goes down to 40 degrees below freezing point amidst ferocious wind speed, he said.

Thousands bid emotional farewell to Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad

The body of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad was laid to rest with full state honours, after thousands of people bid an emotional farewell to the Siachen braveheart at his native village of Betadur in Dharwad district of north Karnataka on Friday.Full throated chants of “Hanumanthappa amar rahe” and patriotic slogans rent the air as the mortal remains of Hanumanthappa was buried at a land adjacent to the Gram Panchayat office, with thousands of people from the village and nearby areas cutting across age, in attendance. The last rites were performed according to Lingayat community rituals.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The scene of Hanumanthappa’s wife, mother and two-year-old daughter paying their last respects at the High School ground in Betadur touched the chord of hundreds of people, who had gathered there, leaving many teary-eyed.
ALSO READ Siachen Braveheart: 5 caricatures paying tribute to Lance Naik Hanamanthappa KoppadAn air of melancholy hung in the air as the family of Hanumanthappa was inconsolable, and at one point of time, his wife Mahadevi even fainted and was consoled by members of the family, the military and police.The village was in sorrow ever since Thursday as hope and prayers gave way to gloom with the death of Hanumanthappa, a resident of Betadur who had joined the army 13 years ago, chasing his dream even after being rejected earlier at some army recruitment rallies.Earlier, Hanumanthappa’s body that was kept at KIMS Hospital in Hubballi last night was shifted to Nehru Ground in the city, where hundreds of people arrived in an unending stream and paid their homage.Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Union Minister Ananth Kumar, Home Minister G Parameshwara, several state ministers and leaders of political parties paid their last respects.The body was brought to Betadur village in Kundagol taluk of Dharwad district in a procession in its final journey. Siddaramaiah visited Betadur to meet Hanumanthappa’s family members and consoled them.The body of 33-year-old Hanumanthappa,who epitomised grit and determination having survived miraculously under 30 feet of ice and snow under which he was buried for six days, was brought to Hubballi last night from Delhi where he breathed his last after a valiant battle for life.The Chief Minister had yesterday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh for the bereaved family. He had also announced a site, land, job for Hanamanthappa’s wife and memorial for the brave heart.Karnataka government has said that similar compensation will be given to two other soldiers from the state- Mahesh from Mysuru, Nagesh from Hassan who have died in the Siachen tragedy.

Nation pays tribute to Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Koppad; last rites today

The last rites of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who passed away on Thursday are being held at his native village in Dharwad district on Friday with full state honours. Koppad battled for life since his miraculous survival in Siachen.

The body was kept at KIMS hospital in Hubbali initially before being shifted to Nehru Ground in Bengaluru for public viewing before last rites on Friday afternoon at Betadur village in Kundagol taluk of Dharwad district in north Karnataka.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will pay his last respects, the CM’s office said. Koppad was given full state honours.

Reacting to the death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “He leaves us sad and devastated…The soldier in you remains immortal.”

Rahul Gandhi said, “His extraordinary spirit and tenacity, till the very end, is an inspiration for all. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed deep shock and profound grief over the death of Koppad.

“During his life, the braveheart son of India united the entire nation in praying for him and has every citizen grieving for him today,” she said.

“He fought till his last displaying utmost valour, courage and determination, which is the hallmark of our Armed Forces,” she said in a message extending her deepest condolence to Koppad’s family and loved ones.

Condoling Koppad’s death, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her sadness. “Saddened by news of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. Brave soldier gave supreme sacrifice for the nation. Salute to him & his colleagues who died,” Banerjee tweeted.

Union Minister and former army chief VK Singh said that “it was a miracle for anybody to survive for six days buried under an avalanche, under 35 feet of snow.”

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit also reacted to the soldier’s demise and said that it was time that India and Pakistan addressed this issue of lives being lost in Siachen.

“We hope the Siachen issue is treated in an urgent manner between our two countries so more lives aren’t lost,” ANI quoted Basit as saying.

Koppad was the lone survivor among 10 soldiers buried by an avalanche on Siachen on 3 February.

The 33-year-old soldier of the 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment is survived by his wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and two-year-old daughter Netra Koppad.

With inputs from agencies

As families wait, nine martyrs’ remains still stuck in Siachen

Nine days on, the hostile weather conditions are hampering the evacuation of bodies of nine martyrs from the world’s highest battlefield of Siachen.Tragedy had struck the glacier on February 3 when 10 Indian army soldiers including a junior commissioned officer (JCO) were swept away by a massive avalanche that buried their Sonam post at an altitude of 19,600 feet.Army rescuers had pulled off a miracle when they extricated Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad of Madras regiment alive from the huge blocks of snow and ice on Monday night. Hanumanthappa later passed away in Army Research and Referral Hospital, New Delhi on Thursday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bigger challenge, however, remains for the Indian army – to airlift the bodies of nine martyrs from the glacier. Inclement weather and hostile conditions are hampering the air operations, even as martyrs’ families are waiting for the mortal remains of their dear ones.Of the 10 slain soldiers, four hailed from Tamil Nadu, three from Karnataka and one each from Maharashtra, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The slain have been identified as Subedar Nagesha TT, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, Sepoy Mahesha PN (all from Karnataka), Havildar Elumalai M, Lance Havildar S Kumar, Sepoy Ganesan G and Sepoy Rama Moorthy N (all from Tamil Nadu), Lance Naik Sudheesh of Kerala, Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed of Andhra Pradesh and Sepoy Nursing Assistant Suryawanshi SV of Maharashtra.Battling frequent snow blizzards, extreme freezing temperatures and low visibility, the rescue teams had cut through 30 feet of ice at multiple locations to trace out the soldiers. Specialised rescue teams, heavy snow cutters and other equipment including state of art radars were airlifted to the site to locate the soldiers buried under the snow. Indian army said blocks of snow and ice had fallen on the post, burying it very deep into the glaciated area.The glaciated area presents temperatures ranging from a minimum of minus 42 degrees in the night to maximum of minus 25 degrees during the day.Situated at the eastern tip of Ladakh, Siachen literally means the Land of Wild Roses. Famous as the highest battlefield in the world, Indian Army is holding posts at unimaginable heights across the largest non-polar glacier in the world. Indian Army has lost hundreds of soldiers to weather vagaries, including avalanches and frost bites, in the last 30 years.

India’s resolute troops: Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad symbolises every soldier in Siachen

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

Going by queries of media friends about how soldiers live on the Siachen glacier 32 years after India’s occupation of the Saltoro Range one is not surprised that some are so outwitted by the news of an avalanche striking Sonam post held by 19 Madras on 3 February that they suggest Indian Army (IA) should vacate the area, albeit without any inkling about the ground and its strategic significance. Incidentally, George Fernades was the only defence minister who took journalists with him on his numerous visits to the Siachen area, to bring awareness about the region, including its strategic significance and why India pre-empted Pakistani move to occupy the Saltoro Range. There are some who ask why the post was located at such place where such an avalanche could occur, again without knowing the ground realities. The post of Sonam where the avalanche occurred is an essential piece of ground which guards the approach to Bana Post (the highest on the Saltoro Range) from being cut off, Bana being the erstwhile Qaid-e-Azam post of Pakistan at a height of 6,500 metres (21,326 feet) that was captured by Indian troops in 1987 under the leadership of Honorary Captain Bana Singh who was later awarded the Param Vir Chakra.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. Image courtesy Indian ArmyLance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. Image courtesy Indian Army

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. Image courtesy Indian Army

But this is about the indomitable spirit of the Indian soldier, epitomized today by Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad rescued after six days of remaining buried under 35 feet of snow in temperatures of minus 55-60 degrees centigrade, who was battling for his life in deep comma at the Army’s Research & Referral Hospital in New Delhi and has unfortunately passed away on 11 February. As the whole nation stood by him and prayers were being held all over for his recovery, providence had other plans despite the best of medical treatment provided. His rescue indeed was miraculous and the herculean rescue operation mounted by the Army itself was one of the most daunting and intricate. Sonam post has a number of Fibre Glass Huts (FGH) as also a helipad. It is at an altitude of 20,500 feet where average temperatures are about minus 25 degree centigrade by day and about minus 45 degree centigrade by night. One has had the privilege to spend a night at Sonam as a Brigade Commander during 1998-1999. The recent avalanche reportedly occurred because of part of the Bana ice wall collapsing on to the post.

The ice debris from the avalanche covered an area of 800 metre by 1,000 metre with a depth of 25 to 30 feet. Massive ice boulders, some the size of a small room, had covered the post. Most of this was blue ice, almost as hard as concrete. The Army pulled out all its stops for the rescue. A 200-man strong rescue operation was mounted round the clock with rock drills, electrical saws, radar equipment, medical teams and specialized rescue dogs Dot and Misha airlifted and pressed into round the clock operation, egged on by the weak radio signal received from the buried men on the fourth day post the avalanche. It was an operation in line with the highest traditions of the Army and its spirit of never leaving a comrade behind. Helicopter pilots of both Indian Army and Indian Air Force flew repeated sorties in highly adverse weather conditions. The rescue team worked relentlessly through snow blizzards, spine chilling cold and great personal risk of being buried under an avalanche themselves, cutting, drilling, sawing and dug through tons of ice and snow. Through night and day, six days in a row, they kept at it, throwing everything they had into it.

Chances of finding a survivor in an avalanche goes down with passage of hours but that didn’t daunt or shake the resolve of these 200-odd men. For them, percentages and probabilities did not matter. What mattered was that 10 of their own were trapped under those sheets of ice, and they had to be pulled out even if their chances of survival were being talked of in the negative. Everyone up the chain of command was involved. Then the miracle happened of pulling out Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad albeit with a weak pulse, otherwise inert but fortunately without any cold exposure-related frost bite or bone injury. The balance nine of his colleagues had unfortunately passed into the annals of history, with the nation saluting them.

What prevails is the fact that officers and men of Indian Army resolutely throw themselves willingly into harm’s way, when the occasion demands it. Because they know that no matter what, their mates shall come after them if they were to fall. The logistics of supporting the 200-man rescue team itself was mammoth, where one Cheetah can carry only two kerosene jerrycans at those heights. The fuel and kerosene required to light up the area, fuel the specialized equipment and power communication equipment required scores of flying hours, for pushing in of fuel, equipment, rations, standby troops, medical support, weather warning equipment etc. Even by the most modest estimate, this translates into thousands of man-hours over a six day period. Imagine all this effort to rescue 10 men, who by every acknowledged line of reasoning stood negligible chance of survival. But that is what the Indian Army is about.

Why India occupied the dominating Saltoro Range in 1984 through a lighting helicopter-borne operation was because Pakistan was about to capture this strategic piece of ground. Musharraf rues India pre-empting the Pakistani move in his autobiography. Significantly, troops that occupied the Saltoro Range had no special clothing and no special rations as is provided presently. There were no FGH or snow scooters in those days. Most of the troops that went in for the initial occupation stayed on for more than one year. Over the years, the system has been streamlined. There is proper acclimatization at various heights along the Siachen glacier leading on to the posts on the Saltoro Range. A soldier presently does 40 days of acclimatization enroute to Tiger Saddle which is the northern-most post on the Saltoro Range. More significantly, all troops are put through a rigid pre-induction schedule under supervision of a team from the High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) before proceeding to their posts. This includes all types of ice training and dealing with emergencies. Given the difficulty of the terrain, the tenure of soldiers in the northern, central and southern glacier is three months, six months and one year respectively.

Yes, the life on the Saltoro is tough but the soldiers are prepared for it both mentally and physically. Morale is always very high. Vagaries of weather are there but there are units that have successfully completed tenures on the glacier without a single weather casualty, especially units where men have been practicing yoga. There are every day acts of heroism in dealing with blizzards, crevasses and rescuing colleagues that have fallen into crevasses, sometime while riding a snow scooter. At the same time, avalanches have been occurring periodically elsewhere in J&K particularly in Kargil Sector and along the LoC in the Kashmir Valley. Some time back entire crew of a gun position was buried in avalanche in Dras area of Kargil. Doesn’t mean we should vacate our borders.

The strategic value of the Saltoro Ridge can be gauged from repeated Pakistan attempts to capture our posts, though repulsed every time. We are in occupation of Saltoro Range because it is our territory. We can extract heavy price from Pakistani troops deployed on lower ground to the west, when required. The northern tip rests on the Shaksgam Valley (Indian Territory) that was illegally gifted by Pakistan to China in 1963. If we vacate the Siachen area, it would imply: gifting Sub Sector North (east of Siachen Glacier) to China, as positions there will become untenable; our next defence line south of the Shyok River will likely require deployment of minimum two Divisions (instead of the one Brigade on the Saltoro Ridge) at mammoth expenditure; Leh will come within enemy artillery range; through Aksai Chin China will link up with Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan area, enlarging the collusive China-Pakistan threat further. It will open avenues for Pakistani infiltration and terrorism into Ladakh, with reverberations through the Zanskar Range right down to Kulu-Manali in Himachal Pradesh, requiring deployment of perhaps another two Corps to control the area. Siachen Glacier also happens to be one of the largest fresh water reserves of India, vital for our precarious water situation.

Army units and pilots of both Indian Army and IAF take pride in serving on the glacier. No one has ever sought exemption from serving there. On the contrary, there have been many instances where individuals have tried to hide medical infirmities so as not lose out serving on the glacier. Troops on the glacier are a ‘band of brothers’ whose bonding cannot be understood by those who have not set foot in the area. The leadership, brotherhood and elan of troops on the glacier surpasses the icy heights. Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad symbolises every individual on the glacier. That there has not been a single incident of enemy transgression testifies the resoluteness of our troops. Our citizens can sleep in peace.

PM Modi, President Mukherjee, Rahul Gandhi and others condole demise of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa

“The soldier in you remains immortal,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday while condoling the demise of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad who was extricated alive from a huge mass of ice on Monday, six days after an avalanche hit his post in Siachen Glacier.Other than PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi, President Pranab Mukherjee, Mamata Banerjee, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and others tweeted their condolences. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The soldier died on Thursday, four days after he was miraculously rescued alive from beneath tonnes of ice at a height of 19,600 feet after the February 3 avalanche hit.Koppad was among 10 soldiers in the high-altitude military post which was struck by the avalanche and nine of them, including a Junior Commissioned Officer, had died earlier. The government had assumed on February 4 that all of them had died, with even the Prime Minister expressing condolence over their passing away.Also read: Parrikar, Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal pay tribute to Lance Naik Koppad at Brar SquareNorthern Army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda had also issued a statement, saying, “It is a tragic event and we salute the soldiers who braved all challenges to guard our frontiers and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.”The 33-year-old soldier of the 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment is survived by his wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and two-year-old daughter Netra Koppad.A resident of village Betadur in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Koppad had joined the army 13 years back. The condition of Koppad, who was admitted to Army Research and Referral Hospital here on February 9, had deteriorated yesterday.

Sand sculpture at Puri beach to pray for Siachen braveheart

Noted sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a sand sculpture at Puri beach to pray for the speedy recovery of Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad.Jotting “get well soon” on five-feet tall sculpture, Pattnaik prayed for Hanumanthappa.About four tonnes of sand was used in the making of the sculpture replete with image of glaciers of Siachen.”I pray to Lord Jagannath for his speedy recovery.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students of my sand art institute and hundreds of school children also are praying together for our hero Hanumanthappa,” Pattnaik said.The condition of Lance Naik Koppad, who defied death for six days buried under snow, today deteriorated even as a team of experts from AIIMS joined in the efforts to save his life.In a release, the Defence Ministry said that he continues to remain critical with evidence of oxygen deprivation to the brain. There is also evidence of pneumonia in both his lungs.His multi-organ dysfunction state continues unabated. The condition of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa was reviewed by the team comprising of Critical Care specialists, HoD Department of Medicine, senior nephrologist and the senior neurologist and a panel of experts from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Army hospital ropes in doctors from AIIMS as Hanamanthappa’s health condition worsens

New Delhi: The condition of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, the Siachen braveheart who defied death for six days buried under snow, has deteriorated further, the Army Research and Referral Hospital said on Wednesday even as a team of experts from AIIMS joined the military doctors in their bid to save the soldier’s life.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. Sameer Yasir/firstpostLance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. Sameer Yasir/firstpost

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. Sameer Yasir/firstpost

He continues to remain extremely critical with evidence of oxygen deprivation to the brain on CT scan, a medical bulletin issued at 4 pm Wednesday evening said. There is evidence of pneumonia in both lungs. “His multi-organ dysfunction state continues unabated. His condition has deteriorated despite aggressive therapy and supportive care,” it added. Koppad was examined by a team of Army Hospital doctors comprising critical care specialists, HoD Dept of Medicine, senior nephrologist, senior neurologist and a panel of experts from AIIMS, New Delhi.

“The entire team was in agreement with the management (of medical problems) that the patient had undergone till now, and
concurred with the future plan of management for him,” the Bulletin said. Hanamanthappa was evacuated by a helicopter yesterday from the site of the avalanche that hit his post on Siachen Glacier before being shifted to Delhi in an IAF aircraft accompanied by a critical care specialist of the force and a medical specialist from the base camp.

Hanamanthappa is being treated by a team of intensivists, neurologist, nephrologist, endocrinologist and surgeons. He has been administered fluids and drugs to bring up his blood pressure, besides antibiotics.


Siachen braveheart’s condition remains critical: Army hospital

The condition of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad of 19 Madras regiment, who was rescued alive six days after being buried under tonnes of ice in Siachen Glacier, remains very critical, the army said today.”He continues to battle the odds and his medical condition remains very critical,” a medical bulletin issued by Army Research and Referral Hospital here said.Hanamanthappa remains ventilator-dependent since arrival in the hospital yesterday, it said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The medical team at R&R Hospital is monitoring his situation continuously and is treating him with best expertise and resources available in the world, the bulletin said.The hospital has said he is expected to have a stormy course in the “next 24 hours” due to the complications caused by re-warming and establishment of blood flow to the cold parts of the body.Hanamanthappa was flown out by a helicopter on Tuesday from the site of the avalanche that hit his post at Siachen Glacier along with a medical specialist to the base camp at the glacier, from where he was brought to the Thois air base.He was then transferred to Delhi by a fixed-wing aircraft of IAF along with a critical care specialist of the force and a medical specialist from the base camp.Hanamanthappa is being treated by a team of intensivists, neurologist, nephrologist, endocrinologist and surgeons. He has been administered fluids, drugs to bring up his blood pressure, besides antibiotics.

Siachen braveheart needs another miracle now, next 24-48 hours critical

Grit and miracle seem small words to describe the story of the Indian Army soldier, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, the lone survivor of an avalanche at the world’s highest battlefield, Siachen Glacier, on February 3.Currently comatose, Koppad is battling for life at the Army Research and Referral hospital here where he was flown in Tuesday morning. His liver and kidney are dysfunctional and he is “expected to have a stormy medical course in the next 24-48 hours”, is how the Army described his condition in a health bulletin.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Koppad, who got buried with nine other fellow soldiers of the 19 Madras Regiment, was pulled out alive on Monday night from under the 25-30 feet debris after after six days even as the average temperature at the location is -30 degree Celsius in daytime and below -55 degrees during night.This, when no less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag had given up hopes and had already passed condolence messages for the 10 bravehearts.A 800 feet by 400 feet ice wall fell on their post named Sonam located at an altitude of 19,500 feet in the northern glacier of Siachen. Mortal remains of eight other jawans and a junior commissioned officer have also been found.”In the ongoing rescue operation at Siachen, of the 10 soldiers buried… (one) has been found alive,” Udhampur-based Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda said in a statement on Monday.”On recovery from the debris, he was found to be conscious but drowsy and disoriented. He was resuscited by doctors at the site and then flown out first by a helicopter to the Siachen base camp, from there to the Partapur military hospital in Jammu and Kashmir and finally flown in to Delhi in an Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft,” Army said.More than 150 rescuers, aided by personnel from the Siachen Battle School and Leh-based Army Mountaineering Institute, were involved in a round-the-clock operation to locate and pull out the soldiers since February 3. Aircraft belonging to the Army Aviation Wing and IAF made more than 250 sorties to carry the special equipment for the operation, including deep-penetration radars capable of detecting metallic objects and heat signatures at a depth of 20 metres and radio signal detectors.Officials said that specialised rescue dogs, snow-cutters and rock drills were used for the rescue.”The rescue team was itself strained as their efforts were frequently hampered by high intensity winds and blizzards. That Koppad could be extricated out of the debris after five days is more than a miracle,” a senior Army officer who monitored the search and rescue told dna.”He either found a natural air pocket around his face or made one by rolling his hands as is the drill for such a situation,” said the officer.More than 850 Indian soldiers have died at Siachen Glacier since the Indian Army first reached there in 1984.PM visits HanumanthappaPrime Minister Narendra has hailed Lance Naik Hanumanthappa as an “outstanding soldier” whose “endurance and indomitable spirit” cannot be described in words. Modi visited the Army’s Research and Referral hospital to see Hanumanthappa soon after he was airlifted from Siachen and prayed for his best. “A team of doctors is attending to Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. Just before visiting the hospital, the PM tweeted: “Going to see Lance Naik Hanumanthappa, with prayers from the entire nation.”It’s a rebirth for us, says jawan’s wifeThe family of Hanumanthappa left for Goa from where they would take a flight to Delhi on Tuesday evening to be with him. Mahadevi, wife of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, said the family was going through a painful ordeal after the members came to know of the tragedy, but the news of his survival brought smiles back on faces. “We were going through a painful ordeal after the avalanche struck…The news of his survival brought smiles back on our faces. We were all crying and almost lost hope. I didn’t know what to do – I have one-and-half-year old girl child,” she said.

Siachen miracle: Lance Naik Koppad ‘highly motivated and fit soldier’, says Indian Army

New Delhi: Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, the 33-year-old soldier who was rescued from an avalanche on the Siachen glacier, has been described by the Indian Army as a “highly motivated and physically fit soldier”.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. Sameer Yasir/FirstpostLance Naik Hanamanthappa. Sameer Yasir/Firstpost

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. Sameer Yasir/Firstpost

Enrolled in the 19th Battalion of the Madras Regiment on October 25, 2002, he has displayed high degree of initiative and has served 10 years in difficult and challenging areas out of 13 years of total service, the army said.

During his career, he was posted in Mahore in Jammu and Kashmir from 2003 to 2006 where he was actively involved in counter-insurgency operations.

He again volunteered to serve with the 54 Rashtriya Rifles (Madras) in Jammu and Kashmir from 2008 to 2010 where he displayed indomitable courage and gallant in fighting terrorism during his tenure.

The lance naik also volunteered to serve in the northeast from 2010 to 2012, where he actively participated in successful operations against NDFB and ULFA.

He was serving in the high-altitude areas of Siachen glacier from August 2015 and was chosen for deployment on one of the highest posts at an altitude of 19,600 feet since December 2015, encountering temperature below minus 40 degrees Celsius and winds of speed up to 100 km per hour.

As an individual, Koppad is known as an ever-smiling personality who shares a cordial relationship with peers and subordinates.

He is married to Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and has a two-year-old daughter, Netra Koppad.


Siachen avalanche: Determination of over 150 soldiers and two canines rescued Lance Naik Koppad

Dogged determination of over 150 soldiers helped by two canines, Dot and Misha, besides earth penetrating radars and special ice cutting equipment helped rescue Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who was buried under tonnes of ice at 19,500 feet on the Siachen Glacier.On February 3, an 800X400ft ice wall broke off and covered an army post in northern glacier in Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield. The debris, including massive ice boulders, some the size of a small room, spread over 800×1000 metres.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rescue teams had the arduous task of breaking through 25-30 ft of blue ice, which is harder than concrete, and had to chip it away inch by inch, army officials said explaining the rescue operation.Over 150 trained and acclimatised army troops, including specialised teams trained in glaciated terrain, were moved into the avalanche site and round-the-clock rescue operations were carried out in extreme weather conditions where average day temperatures was minus 30 degrees Celsius and night temperature below minus 55 degrees.Also read: Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad in comatose state, condition critical, says ArmyMedical teams and equipment were moved in and a post established to provide emergency treatment at the rescue site itself. Specialized rescue dogs were also pressed into service.”The dogs, Dot and Misha, did a tremendous job,” the officials said.Specialized digging and boring equipment, like rock drills, electrical saws and earth augers were flown in.In addition, deep penetration radars, capable of detecting metallic objects and heat signatures at a depth of 20 meters, and radio signal detectors were also flown in using Air Force fixed wing aircrafts and Army Aviation helicopters.Using the specialized equipment the rescue teams were able to identify locations, where digging were carried out. However, rescue efforts were frequently hampered by high velocity winds and blizzards. By yesterday, the rescue teams were able to reach the location of the buried habitat and Koppad was recovered alive.The bodies of nine soldiers were also extricated from their icy grave.”Him being found alive electrified the entire rescue team. There was a sudden burst of energy among the men,” officials said.When rescued, Koppad was conscious but drowsy and disoriented. He was severely “dehydrated, hypothermic, hypoxic, hypoglycemic and in shock”. He was immediately resuscitated by the doctors at the site, who had been there for the past 5 days in the hope of finding a survivor.He was treated with warm intravenous fluids, humidified warm oxygen and passive external rewarming. He was later moved to the Army andResearch Hospital here, they said.

After ‘miraculous’ rescue in Siachen, father-of-one Lance Naik Koppad in critical condition

A group of rescuers of the Indian army on Monday were on a routine drill, during an operation to rescue ten missing soldiers on a massive block of ice on the Siachen glacier, when they found an unconscious and wilted Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who was among the ten soldiers missing after an avalanche hit their post on Wednesday.

Lance Naik Koppad is a resident of Betadur village in Dharwad district of Karnataka.  He survived miraculously and is being treated in the RR Hospital in Jammu. But his medical condition is said to be critical.

Dharmendra Kumar Meena, SP of Dharwad, told Firstpost on the phone from Belgaum that he met the family of Lance Naik Koppad in Betudur village in his district two days ago.

“He had joined the army in 2003 as a soldier. His father is a farmer and he is married to a woman named Madhavi and they have a daughter Netra, who is one year old,” he said.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. Sameer Yasir/FirstpostLance Naik Hanamanthappa. Sameer Yasir/Firstpost

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. Sameer Yasir/Firstpost

“It was extremely difficult to give them hope, but the news that he is alive is comforting,” he added.

Lance Naik Koppad is the only earning member of his family and got married two years back in a nearby district.

Madhavi, his wife, told Firstpost, “While I am happy that my husband is alive and I would go to see him soon, I feel the pain of other families too whose family members have died in this tragedy. We are completely dependent on my husband for our survival. He is the only earning member in the family. I had lost hope of him being alive. The entire village turned up at our home and I am preparing to go to see him.”

Ramappa Koppad, the father of Lance Naik Koppad, told a police inspector posted in Kundgod village that after having lost hope for six days, he was happy to learn about his son being alive. He hoped his son would survive.

The army says the Lance Naik Koppad was found after great difficulty as the rescue operations and efforts were hampered by frequent blizzards, extreme freezing temperature and low visibility apart from the effects of rarefied atmosphere at such high altitude.

General D S Hooda, Northern Army Commander based in Udhampur, Jammu, said on Tuesday that of the ten soldiers buried under the ice, Lance Naik Koppad has been found alive, although his medical condition is not stable.

“It was a miraculous rescue,” said General Hooda,

Ten army soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer, went missing after their post was buried by an avalanche at 19,600ft in one of the world’s highest battlefields between India and Pakistan near the Line of Control in the northern glacier sector of the Ladakh region on Wednesday.

“Finding the place was the first difficult job. We know now the exact place where our soldiers could be buried. To find him alive is miracle, and I hope these miracles would continue,” Col N N Joshi, a defense ministry spokesperson in Srinagar told Firstpost.

Rescue teams have been sifting through a huge mass of ice in the treacherous region and are cutting through up to 30 feet of ice at multiple locations where soldiers could be buried.

“After searching for six days, rescue parties were able to hit the camp site,” Joshi said.

“We should be able to extract the bodies of other missing soldiers in next couple of days. The Army and Air force have been working with efficacy while keeping in mind dangers involved in such kind of operation and finding Lance Naik Koppad alive is a testimony of that,” he said.

Siachen miracle: PM Narendra Modi visits soldier who miraculously survived avalanche

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday went to Army’s Research and Referral Hospital here to see Lance Naik Hanumanthappa who was miraculously found alive after remaining buried under huge mass of snow for six days at Siachen Glacier. “Going to see Lance Naik Hanumanthappa, with prayers from the entire nation,” Modi tweeted just before visiting the hospital. Thappa was flown here from Siachen Glacier this morning in a special air ambulance and admitted to the Research and Referral Hospital. His condition is critical but stable and he is undergoing various tests in the hospital, army sources said. Hanumanthappa, who hails from Karnataka, was found alive yesterday, buried under 25 feet of snow for six days after an avalanche hit his post at the altitude of 19,600 feet close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan. The temperature at that altitude was minus 45 degrees Celsius.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine other personnel at the post, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), of Madras Regiment have died, according to Lt Gen D S Hooda, Northern Army Commander. “Five bodies have been recovered so far and four bodies have been identified,” he has said. JCO), of Madras Regiment have died, according to Lt Gen DS Hooda, Northern Army Commander. “Five bodies have been recovered so far and four bodies have been identified,” he has said.

Siachen miracle: ‘Anxious’ family eager to see rescued soldier

The family members of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa, who was miraculously found alive on Monday buried under 25 feet of snow following an avalanche in the Siachen glacier, said that they were very glad and waiting anxiously to see him. Hanamanthappa’s wife, who has been praying for her husband’s survival, told the media in Dharwad, Karnataka, that she is anxiously waiting to see him. Meanwhile, his nephew, who had lost all hopes, said that it was the blessings of the entire villagers that the Lance Naik has fought with the extremely difficult conditions and stayed alive.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A rescue team, which had been chipping away at ice for days, last night found army Hanamanthappa, who was buried under 25 feet of snow at the Siachen Glacier, in temperatures close to minus 40 degrees. The body of Hanamanthappa, who is on ventilator, will arrive at the Palam airbase and from there he would be taken to the Army Research and Referral Hospital.Meanwhile, army source said the rescue teams have located mortal remains of all the remaining nine soldiers and they are being brought out from the avalanche site. After an avalanche on February 3, the soldiers were buried deep under the snow. Hanamanthappa was trapped in an air bubble, which saved his life.Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had yesterday dismissed suggestions for withdrawal of troops from Siachen. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of an international maritime conference in Visakhapatnam, he said the military presence in Siachen is in consonance with the country’s security needs. He emphasized on the need to understand the importance of troop deployment in spite of the hostile conditions.The Defence Minister also asserted there seemed to be no loose ends in this incident as it was an unpredicted way of nature showing its strength. “It is an avalanche. These are just unpredicted things by which nature shows its strength. We can’t help it. Hope of any survival is very less,” Parrikar said.

Siachen miracle: Rescued soldier flown to Delhi hospital, wife says she wants to see him

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa, who was miraculously found alive after remaining buried in snow for six days, was today evacuated to the army’s base camp at the Siachen Glacier from where he was flown to Delhi’s Research and Referral Hospital in a special air ambulance.He will be brought to the Palam technical airport and airlifted to the hospital, army sources said. His medical condition is still critical, but stable. A special medical team is attending him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, “My prayers are with Lance Naik Hanumanthappa who miraculously survived the avalanche at Siachen.” Hanamanthappa, who hails from Karnataka, was found alive on Monday after being buried under 25 feet of snow for six days after an avalanche hit his post at the altitude of 19,600 feet close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan where the temperature was minus 45 degrees Celsius.The other nine personnel at the post, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and eight other ranks of Madras Regiment, have died, according to Lt Gen D S Hooda, Northern Army Commander. “Five bodies have been recovered so far and four bodies have been identified,” he has said.Meanwhile, Lance Naik Hanamanthappa’s family members in Dharwad breathed a sigh of relief after news of him being rescued alive reached them. His wife told ANI, “I am very happy, I want to go and see him.”(With Agency Inputs)

Lance Naik Goswami awarded the Ashok Chakra posthumously

Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami of the Special Forces, who took part in back-to-back operations in Jammu and Kashmir which resulted in killing of 10 terrorists in 11 days before being martyred, was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime gallantry award, by President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.The award was received by Bhavna Goswami, widow of Goswami, at the country’s 67th Republic Day. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goswami was killed at Hafruda forests in Kupwara district in fierce gunbattle with terrorists, but not before he killed two himself and helped in killing another two. Army sources said that Goswami had been actively involved in three such operations in which ten terrorists were killed and one captured alive in 11 days.In the first operation, three Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were killed in Khurmur, Handwara on August 23. Then he again volunteered for a second back-to-back operation in which three more Lashkar terrorists were killed and another Sajjad Ahmad alias Abu Ubed Ullah captured alive during the two day-long fierce fire fight in Rafiabad on August 26-27.Goswami once again volunteered to be part of an ongoing operation launched in the dense Hafruda forest near Kupwara, Kashmir. This was his last operation but not before he killed two terrorists.According to the citation, at about 8:15 in the evening on September 2, there was a fierce encounter with four terrorists wherein two of his comrades were injured and pinned down. He along with his buddy dashed forward to rescue their injured colleagues, knowing well the risks to their own lives.”He first assisted in eliminating one terrorist. Sensing grave danger to three of his wounded colleagues, Lance Naik Mohan with utter disregard to his own personal safety, charged at the remaining terrorists drawing intense fire from them. He was hit in the thigh. Unmindful, he closed in and eliminated one terrorist, injured another and was again shot in the abdomen. Undeterred by his injuries, he hurled himself on the last terrorist and killed him at point blank range before succumbing to his wounds,” the citation read.Goswami not only killed two terrorists, but also assisted in neutralizing the other two and save the lives of three of his wounded colleagues. He was awarded Ashoka Chakra (posthumous) for exhibiting most conspicuous gallantry in personally eliminating two terrorists and assisting in evacuation of his wounded colleagues.

Para commando who killed 10 ultras awarded Ashok Chakra posthumously

Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami’s bravery has become a touchstone in the Indian Army.The brave-heart Para commando, who eliminated 10 militants in the span of 11 days in high altitude jungles of Kupwara and Baramulla August-September last, has been awarded the ‘Ashok Chakra’, the country’s highest peace time gallantry award posthumously for displaying exemplary courage and valour in the war against terror.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A resident of Indira Nagar, Nainital, Goswami had volunteered to join the elite Special Forces of the Indian Army in 2002 and went on to gain the reputation of being one of the toughest soldiers of his unit.Such was his bravery that he used to volunteer for operations against militants in the highly treacherous and inhospitable mountainous terrains on the high altitude areas of north Kashmir.”Lance Naik Goswami, who is fondly and proudly remembered by his comrades as one who could inspire and ignite patriotic fervour by his sheer presence alone, would volunteer for all risky missions. And within the preceding ten days of the fateful day of September 2, he had been part of two more major operations in which 10 terrorists had been eliminated in the Kashmir Valley,” said an army spokesman.On August 23, he was part of the operation in Khurmur, Handwara in which three hardcore Pakistani Lashkar-e-Tioba militants were gunned down. He volunteered for a second back to back operation in Rafiabad, Kashmir. The operation was conducted over two days on August 26 and 27. It witnessed a fierce gunfight that led to the elimination of three more Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists.It was the same operation in which Indian army was able to nut out 22-year-old Pakistani terrorist Sajjad Ahmad alias Abu Ubadullah of Muzzafargarh alive. The operation was conducted in the area dotted by caves and rock cavities at the altitude of 14,000 feet in extremely bad weather. Sajad was part of five member Lashkar group that had infiltrated from Uri sector in last week of August 2015.Goswami once again volunteered to be part of operation launched in the dense Hafruda forest near Kupwara, Kashmir. This proved to be his last operation but not before elimination of four terrorists in a heavy gun battle”On September 2 he was engaged in a fierce encounter with terrorists hiding in the Hafruda forest in Kupwara. As the encounter raged, two of his comrades were wounded. Undeterred by the intense volley of fire, he immediately rushed to rescue them and in the act, despite getting grievously wounded himself, he not only eliminated two terrorists but also saved the lives of his comrades,” the spokesman said.